Tom Fox and Lisa Ryan, this week’s guest, are both members of C Suite Radio and the National Speakers Association. Lisa spent 20 years in sales before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey in 2010. She brings a unique perspective to the subject of employee engagement, seeing it as an essential skill that leaders need to have.
An Essential Skill
In Lisa’s view, employee engagement is greater productivity, greater institutional justice, better health and safety, and many other ways of enhancing workers’ lives. As such, leaders should see improving engagement as an essential skill. “When that business owner can make that connection with their employees,” Lisa points out, “that employee is going to give a lot more effort.”
A Critical Part of Compliance and Corporate Culture
Tom comments, “If you focused on employee engagement, you would go a long way towards creating a viable and vibrant speak up culture and creating a two way street of communication.” Lisa agrees. She adds that people want to feel safe and know that if they approach their boss with a problem, their boss is going to take action on it. We’re wired for justice, she says. As such, engagement is a critical part of compliance.
“Company culture took a long time to develop, and it’s not changing overnight,” Lisa says. When a company makes the decision to focus on improving engagement, they must first assess where they are and then be committed to taking strategic steps towards their long-term goal. She shares how she helps clients to make those changes, and emphasizes that culture change must start at the top then go through every department of the organization.
Tom says that one of the key characteristics compliance professionals must possess is curiosity.
He asks Lisa to talk about her blog post about curiosity around relearning an old skill. She responds, “Sometimes we have so much knowledge of the things that we can do and then we go and chase that next shiny object… that what we were doing before that was totally working, that was totally part of our skill set, just kind of fades off to the background… So there’s always that being a constant student, not only of the new technology, …but also knowing that there was a lot of that foundation that we came from that we don’t necessarily want to leave behind.”